Éducation scientifique et développement intellectuel du jeune enfant
RESTA-SCHWEITZER, MARCELA; Université d’Angers, France
WEIL-BARAIS, ANNICK; Université d’Angers, France
In this study, we attempt to understand better the influence of scientific teaching on the intellectual development of 5 to 6 year old children. The conception of child intellectual development used is based on a model suggested by Piaget and Garcia, which explains the transformations of the understanding of the world by young children, and on Vygotskian conception which emphasizes the importance of the adult mediation and tutoring. Then, we developed a sequence of activities involving the understanding of shadow formation by young children, with the aim of transforming the way they understand physical phenomena. This sequence was carried out in kindergarten, with a group of pupils thought by their own teacher. The children's progresses were analysed, using their own statements and graphic productions, obtained during individual interviews achieved first before the teaching sequence, and then two months later. The collected data show that children progress in their reading of reality, as they come out of the purely perceptive framework (";;;intra-objectal";;;), by building observables which imply an ";;;inter-objectal";;; treatment of physical phenomena. These conclusions reinforce the idea that a scientific initiation in kindergarten, based on a good knowledge of the children's abilities, contributes to their intellectual development.